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Land Sales in the Metaverse and the Growth of Virtual Real Estate

Last October, the co-founder, and CEO of Facebook (now Meta) announced the arrival of the metaverse, an online virtual world that he believes could be the successor of the internet we know and love today. The metaverse will act as an intersection between the digital and physical worlds, allowing people from all over the world to meet and interact as digital avatars.

This announcement kick-started significant consumer and commercial interest in the metaverse and virtual real estate. In a digital world that essentially allows everything to exist virtually, real estate represents a metaversal investment that could pay dividends.

Companies build virtual worlds like Decentraland, The Sandbox, Nifty Island, and Earth, each with its own unique offerings. Some virtual worlds offer gaming options while others allow users to access hyper-realistic graphics. Users are allowed to buy ‘real estate’ in these virtual worlds, often using cryptocurrency. Essentially, they are buying a house or pieces of land in the virtual world and legally owning it as they would in the real world.

Yuga Labs, an American startup founded in 2021 is one of the major virtual real estate players in the metaverse. On 1st May, Reuters reported that the company had managed to raise a whopping $285 million in cryptocurrency by selling virtual real estate in a virtual game world called Otherside.

Users could buy NFTs called ‘Otherdeeds’ from Yuga Labs which they could then exchange as plots of virtual land in the startup’s metaverse. On 30th April, Yuga Labs put 55,000 Otherdeeds on sale online, each costing 305 ApeCoin. By the next day, the company announced on Twitter that they had sold out all the Otherdeeds for around $285 million (16,775,000 ApeCoin).

Although there aren’t a lot of public details about Yuga Lab’s metaverse, we know that it will be a multi-player gaming environment with a Bored Ape theme. It will use a cryptocurrency called ApeCoin that the startup launched in March. According to the Otherside website, the virtual multi-player gaming world is still under development.

Yuga Labs isn’t the first company to sell virtual real estate in a metaverse. In November, Decentraland sold virtual real estate worth $2.4 million of cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency investor, a record at the time. However, this recent sale showed that there was significant investor interest in virtual real estate and that people were willing to pay real money to own a patch of their favorite virtual worlds.

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